St Martha Parish Council have carried out an Initial Feasibility Appraisal for the use of West Lodge by St Martha Parish Council and submitted it to Guildford Borough Council (GBC) for consideration.
In summary, as a preferred alternative to sale of the property by GBC, this initial Feasibility Appraisal provides for West Lodge’s retention as significant contributing feature of the nationally important historic Gunpowder Mills works. It has been prepared as a discussion document and does not constitute or imply an offer.
St Martha Parish Council, supported by Chilworth2gether community group and the Chilworth Gunpowder Mills Group, proposes an alternative way forward for the future use and management of West Lodge that will:
- relieve GBC of future management and upkeep costs
- increase the value and improve the condition of the building at no expense to GBC
- give the building a new purpose which will benefit the community
- provide a new facility for the education of children, young people, graduates and adults
- support the GBC Conservation Management Plan for the Gunpowder Mills Middle Works site
- retain West Lodge as a significant and integral heritage asset of the GBC owned historic Gunpowder Mills Middle Works that also provides a secure base with welfare and toilet facilities
The attached Appendix outlines in approximate terms:
- the cost of returning the property to a good state of repair, upgrading it to modern standards, and specific additional improvements (£117,350 excluding VAT).
- sources of funding and grant aid and donations
- how costs in use (running costs) can cover anticipated income from a variety of uses (underpinned by supporting established educational need).
- contributions, voluntary labour and sponsorship
The Parish Council believes it inappropriate to lose West Lodge as a resource, but to retain and maximise its use to meet local need, now and in the future. It also believes the demand and need for outdoor public space will become greater and more pressing in the light of growth plans for the Borough, and increasing use and enjoyment of the already popular and publicly valued Gunpowder Mills Middle Works site